Garth Wood quickly found out that bravado and a head-butt can only take you so far when you’re in the ring with a former world champion.
Daniel Geale, who says he wants to fight Gennady Golvkin sometime this year, put on a boxing clinic in disposing of Wood in six rounds at Horden Pavilion in Sydney, Australia last Wednesday night.
Geale (30-2, 16 KOs) outworked Wood with ease in round one. His punches were quicker and more accurate. Wood (12-4, 8 KOS) tried to stay close, but was unable to land anything solid. Geale connected with a left hook to the body. A few seconds later a heavy right hand knocked Wood into the ropes. Wood had told the media earlier in the week that Geale, 32, lacks a killer instinct. Geale jumped on Wood like a man determined to prove him wrong. A barrage of punches to the head and body put the stunned Wood down for a count of three.
The 35-year-old Wood got up wobbly. Geale marched in to end matters. A combination staggered Wood who was saved by the bell.
Geale punished Wood in rounds two and three. A point was deducted from Geale in round two for a low blow. The shot was on the beltline. The point deduction didn’t bother Geale. His attack varied to the head and body. Wood tried to fight back, but Geale’s head movement kept him guessing.
Wood, whose claim to fame was a knockout victory over Anthony Mundine four years ago, absorbed more rights and lefts in round four. He tried to rough Geale up and did manage to land an uppercut. Geale worked off his jab. He moved side to side and in and out.
Geale, who lost his IBF and WBA middleweight title last year to Darren Barker, came out more aggressively in round five. An uppercut landed to the heart. A right hand bounced off the bald pate of Wood. Geale snapped his jab. Wood fired a long right that Geale made fun of. A classic left right combo put Wood on his back. The brave warrior hauled himself up at eight. Geale battered him with clubbing shots for the remaining part of the round. Some of the punches landed after the stanza had ended, as neither the referee nor the fighters heard the bell.
Wood came out with energy in round six. Nobody could questions his heart or will. Geale landed a chopping right. A combination also found the mark. Wood fought back. Geale fired an overhand right that sent Wood to the canvas for the third time in the fight. He got up, but without any legs. He was soon staggering into the ropes. His corner wisely called off the contest as Wood sat on his stool.
The fighters touched gloves and hugged.
“Two blokes stand there and shake hands,” said the classy Geale in the ring after the fight. “That’s what prizefighting is all about. You want to see a bit of anger, but also that we’re human as well.”